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Alcohol and Other Drugs

Most sexual offenses involving college students involve sexual contact between persons who know one another. Many of these offenses involve the consumption of alcohol or other drugs by one or both parties, and increasingly, these acts are accomplished with the aid of so-called “date rape drugs” such as Rohypnol, gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) or ketamine (K).

  • Alcohol has been called the number one date rape drug.
  • Alcohol use is a central factor in most college sexual assault.
  • Alcohol use increases the likelihood of sexual assault occurring among acquaintances during social interactions.

An intoxicated person may be legally incapacitated which means that they cannot legally give consent to sexual activity. If an incapacitated person gives consent, it is not valid under New York State Law or Hamilton College Policy. Engaging in sexual activities with an individual incapacitated through either alcohol or “Date Rape Drugs” is by definition engaging in sexual assault.

What are “Date Rape Drugs”?

Rohypnol, gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), or ketamine (K), are drugs commonly referred to as Date Rape Drugs. Often these substances are used to assist in the sexual assault of an individual. The effects of these drugs include physical helplessness, inability to consent to sexual activities, and memory loss.

Some of the side effects include: dizziness, extreme exhaustion, nausea, severe headache, disproportionate inebriation (e.g. feeling like you drank 10 alcoholic drinks instead of 2), disorientation, difficulty with or loss of body movements, loss of consciousness.

Drugs can begin to take effect within minutes and the effects can last 8 or more hours. Only through a toxicology test within 96 hours of ingestion can these drugs be detected. For more information, see Off-Campus Resources in the Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Contact Information

Catherine Berryman

Director of Community Standards (Title IX Coordinator)
315-859-4020 cberryma@hamilton.edu
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